Concept

Phaedra (Seneca)

Summary
Phaedra is a Roman tragedy written by philosopher and dramatist Lucius Annaeus Seneca before 54 A.D. Its 1,280 lines of verse tell the story of Phaedra, wife of King Theseus of Athens and her consuming lust for her stepson Hippolytus. Based on Greek mythology and the tragedy Hippolytus by Euripides, Seneca's Phaedra is one of several artistic explorations of this tragic story. Seneca portrays Phaedra as self-aware and direct in the pursuit of her stepson, while in other treatments of the myth, she is more of a passive victim of fate. This Phaedra takes on the scheming nature and the cynicism often assigned to the nurse character. When Seneca's plays were first revived during the Renaissance, the work that soon came to be known as Phaedra was titled Hippolytus. It was presented in Latin in Rome in 1486. The play has influenced drama over the succeeding two millennia, particularly the works of Shakespeare and dramas of 16th- and 17th-century France. Other notable dramatic versions of t
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